Yeah, I’m pretty sure our fish is done for.
Betting on the possibility that the swelling was just constipation, we cleaned out his tank last night and put some epsom salts in the clean water. But once I had taken the fish out and had him in a cup while the new water was getting to the right temperature, I got to take a look at him from above and saw that his scales were raised. According to the few sites that talk about betta illnesses, that’s a Very Bad Sign.
I took some pictures of him just for documentation. We told the baby to say goodbye.
This morning the fish was still hanging on, though he was sort of curled in a corner and not moving very much at all. I feel really bad for him since it looks so uncomfortable and I’m so worried that he’s in a ton of pain.
The baby is taking the impending loss pretty well. When we initially told him that the fish was probably going to be dying very soon, he cried. But over the weekend he’s been focused on just being very nice to the fish, drawing him pictures to be placed by the tank and offering to drop pennies into the water (we quashed that gesture). He knows it’s coming and is sure to tell the fish that he’s loved and will be missed.
But this whole episode has, not surprisingly, exacerbated the baby’s fears about death…specifically my death. I’m not sure when exactly he caught wind of the fact that every living thing someday dies, including moms, but it’s been a struggle ever since. I’m stuck somewhere between wanting to be honest with him and not wanting to see him upset. We’ve touched on concepts like heaven but I’ve told him that no one knows for sure what happens when you die and when he’s gone down the list of people he loves to find out if they will all have the same fate I’ve told him the truth.
I’ve also told him that death scares me sometimes too and it’s perfectly natural and good to be at least a little afraid. I don’t feel comfortable slipping into religious explanations because I don’t really believe them and it doesn’t seem fair to assuage his fears by telling him something I don’t think is true…or really that will ultimately let him down when he gets older and more cynical.
I don’t know. I don’t want to make it sound like an obsession. It’s not like it’s death 24/7 at our house. But he gets really upset by the fact that I am going to die which I totally understand. Hell, I’m 29 and I’m still paralyzed when I think about the fact that my mom will die someday.
But I wouldn’t mind if he just kinda laid off every once in awhile. On my birthday we had a relatively cheerful discussion of the things that he will place in my coffin when I die (ie, drawings, toys, etc.).
But I kinda felt like, “Hey, could we NOT discuss my mortality right now since I’ve just taken a step closer to it? Thanks.”